The fic though, is a present promised to laughingwolf ages ago, and then forgotten about, as I have a worrying *coughlazycough* tendency to do. Seemed like a good time to finally finish it *grin* so enjoy babe *smootch* and here's hoping Mr Almasy enjoys too.

And for anyone else interested, it's my usual annual FF8 PWP. Seifer X Squall, as usual too. Rated NC-17 for the plotless smut, and rated "Eh..." for the fairly non-fluffy-happy-squishy-sappy-bunny ending.

Swept Away

By Seshat

"Old wounds, sad scenes, love lost, bad dreams
Heartache, old scars, old walls, these are
Swept away, swept away, swept away."


The train's late.

Years of efficient rail travel, trains running with clockwork precision, and today it's late.

There's nothing waiting for him. He can go back, spend another day deliberating peacekeeping missions with delegates from Galbadia Garden, but he's not entirely sure he can take the exhilaration that comes from arguing whether it takes ten or a dozen soldiers to screw in a lightbulb. Whatever's cheapest, whatever bathes them all in the best possible light.


They hardly need him. He's quite aware of that. He's just the poster-child for the perils of allowing the past to repeat itself, his presence is a nod and a whisper to the military might that while they all run around with their heads up their own asses, someone has to remain to fight the righteous fight, and whether it's his own fight, it doesn't matter. He's a warning. He's a parody of himself, even if the path he took to achieve that is obscured by years and bureaucracy, tied up with red tape and thrown to the back of the closet like an unwanted birthday gift, and forgotten.

This is the future he saved. This is his future. Since he never really saw it as a tangible thing, nothing he could reach out and touch, he supposes it shouldn't matter. There was nothing he wanted, nothing he wanted to become. So he's become this.

He needn't spend the next godsforsaken hours sitting alone in Deling City Station, listening to the hollow echo of voices he doesn't recognise, and the thundering of rain on the station roof. He can go where he likes. He's wearing his intricately decorated uniform as much for practicality as duty; they may forget his face, but they won't forget who he is, and on that basis alone he can get away with anything.

You owe me. I saved the world, once...

He doesn't like people watching. He doesn't care about their lives, has no interest sitting and wondering who they are, where they're going. None of them matter anyway, and imagination won't change that. Yet he can feel their glances on him, when his silent disinterest isn't reciprocated. He should be used to it, but he doesn't think he ever will be.

Instead he retreats back into the sanctuary of his thoughts, head bowed, elbows on his knees, slate blue stare fixed on the hands that dangle limply in between.

He's been dreaming a lot lately. Not even sensible things, like being lost in the maze of Ultimecia's castle, or conducting an in-depth discussion on Shumi politics with a bright pink Adamantoise that spoke with an Esthar accent.

Hopeless things. Scenes that replay in his head with a merciless cruelty, so vivid and real he can almost believe someone somewhere's laughing at him. But he never hears laughter, just his own ragged breathing in the cool darkness of his empty room when he wakes, sometimes gasping, sometimes reaching out for nothing. Nothing but faded images spiralling away from him.

He can feel glances again. Some battle-honed sixth sense tells him to lift his head, scan for potential enemies. Rational thought tells him they're all enemies, one way or another. He keeps his head down. He'll remain safe in his little cocoon of ignorance; if he doesn't acknowledge them, they don't exist.

Maybe soon he's going to wake up. He doesn't even care if it's one of those nights where damp streaks mark his pillow, incriminating and humiliating. That there's no-one else there to witness his failing is just a small blessing in a big mistake.

Can't change the past, can't stand the present, can't see the future...

The future he saved.

They called him a hero. He still doesn't know why. All his actions saw to it that the entire world must continue loitering in a perpetual comatose existence labelled as `living`, as though it's something with a point to it.

The announcement crackles over the tannoy again; all trains to Timber and Balamb infinitely delayed, or as good as. In a little while he'd have to consider going back to the hotel, but until then he'll sit and pretend he's got a home to go to, important things to do, special people to see.

He watches as the feet shuffling by in his lowered field of vision slow, their purposeful optimism sapped by the prolonged delay. He can't understand why people get their hopes up, surely in the back of their minds they know they'll only be kicked back down.

It doesn't hurt not to hope. He's done it most of his life. They call him a lot of things because of it, but he prefers thinking of it as realism.

His gaze slides to a halt at a pair of boots by the payphones - you pay your gil, you reach out and touch somebody... - and he wonders if he should let anyone know he's delayed. The boots are polished, black leather shiny enough to reflect the station lights, and the black gashes of the commuters' shadows as they walk past. The soldier in him appreciates that, it takes him back on a flash of memory to being told he must always keep his cadet uniform in pristine condition at all times.

Being told what to do saved him the bother of deciding for himself.

He's assessed the stance before any conscious awareness of doing so filters through, because you can tell a lot about someone by the way they stand, the way the hold themselves. He takes in the way crisply creased black pants drape over the ankles of the boots, the way the feet are planted slightly apart, the toes of the boots just barely turned outward. A confident stance, a `bring it on` sort of stance.

Looking down at his own body, at the way his feet are set further back than his knees, retreating as though they're seeking shelter, he decides that personality analysis by the way people hold themselves is a crock of shit.

Then his gaze is idly drawn back to the one standing by the payphones. The feet have turned around now, facing him. And a part of him, something deep inside that has been whittled away by years of cold hibernation, knows even before he raises his gaze.

Knows as the blue-grey stare flicks up along the length of the imposing figure, the details that will finish off the image. Knows the golden hair and the jade eyes, knows the defiant set of strong shoulders. He knows the faded jagged line of that scar, can almost remember the way it felt beneath his blade, and his own aches softly at the realisation, feeling as exposed and raw as the day the other man inflicted it.

He knows those lips, better than most. Knows them better than he should. In his time, he's heard the bitterest cruelty and the most illicit endearments from them.

He can't remember the last time he heard anything from the other man's lips, but he can suddenly hear his voice, feel it ghosting across his soul like silk, and he has to close his eyes, steel himself against it till the moment of memory passes.

When he looks up again, it's with a wary furtiveness, watching from beneath a fall of chocolate brown hair. He needn't have worried - Seifer hasn't seen him, those jade eyes scan the crowd impatiently, but Squall's willing to bet the other man isn't seeing anything, his concentration solely on the conversation he's conducting.

There's still time to make an escape. Now seems as good a time as any to concede defeat and return to the hotel. He gets up, gathering his sparse belongings, straightening his uniform out of sheer habit. There was a time when simply his presence would have sent a murmur through the thinning crowd, those who had only seen his face on broadcasts after the war wondering if that was really him. It doesn't happen anymore, hasn't happened for quite some time, but he's never been quite this relieved before.

But when he tries to take a step forward, a step away, he can't.

"There's no way I'm gonna run from him!"

They're his words, but it's Seifer's smirk he sees as the accompanying illustration. It's the challenge in those green eyes, the same look that prompted him to agree to that fated impromptu training session. The same look that preceded their first kiss. The look that said more clearly than words that the blonde thought Squall was too chickenshit to go through with it, too much of a coward.

And it hits him then, exactly how many things he did just to prove Seifer wrong.

Hits him that no-one else has even stirred up that kind of response in him. He's never wanted to depend, and he doesn't now, but there was a time when he was so certain he didn't need anyone's approval either, anyone's acceptance.

Except Seifer's. What the blonde thought of him mattered, in an intrinsic way he can't quite define. Never could.

He's only snapped back to now when one of the other commuters almost trips on the bag that, somewhere along the thought process, slipped from his grasp. He mutters an apology, but the slight disturbance ripples out like the chaos theory in full effect, and the few people who glance his way as a result makes a handful of others look over out of curiosity. He lowers his gaze and his head, silently wrapping the invisible barrier of disinterest around himself, and like stepping into the shade on a summer's day, he can feel their attention sliding away from him.

But now he can't quite manage to pick up his bags without feeling awkward and clumsy, the need to leave growing more urgent with every passing moment.


In his head, the scene has already played out. He brushes off the word, the demand, the greeting, whatever. He pretends he hasn't heard, picks up his belongings and walks out.

They tell him all the time that he's not going to get anywhere if he conducts his life and his conversations in his head. He's starting to realise what they mean. In reality his stare has snapped to the form behind that word almost immediately, like a well trained puppy at his master's command. He can't ignore it, all the gil and all the pride and stubbornness in the world couldn't make him do otherwise.


He'd like to think that the cool tone is a defiance, a reaction to the blonde's presence. But he speaks to everyone with that voice. And whatever response he'd hoped for, that oddly familiar look in jade eyes as Seifer shook his head isn't it.

"You haven't changed..."

Neither is that. He tries to bristle at the words, but can't find the will to do more than stare silently.

"It's been a while..."

The best part of five years, but he doesn't think Seifer's words were a question, and stays silent. He wants to say `not long enough`, but his mind won't allow his lips to form the words. But that's okay, Seifer doesn't seem to expect any. Too used to the silences, Squall supposes, to allow him to linger in them.

"What are you doing here?"

Now that's a question Squall can answer, if only because there is a sarcastic reply. "Waiting for a train."

Seifer just looks at him, one golden brow arched expectantly, the faintest traces of a wry smirk dancing across his lips. When he realises he's staring far too intently at Seifer's lips, Squall shrugs slightly, looking away.

"Garden business."

"So you're still there?" The blonde chuckles, the sound unnervingly judgmental in Squall's head, and translating to something like `you're still wasting your time there?`. "Still Commander? Must be exciting." The last word is said in the same tone most people use for `nice`; a tone that says they can't think of anything better, and choose to settle for banal insincerity instead because they have to say something.

"It's sitting behind a desk."

He could ask what the blonde's been doing with himself, but it would be an exercise in futility; he already knows. Garden Commander may mean sitting behind a desk, but it also means having a lot of resources at his disposal that would otherwise sit idle.

"So quit, go do something else."

For a moment it's all he can do to fight the unfamiliar urge to smile. Smile, or retort that it's not that simple, not that easy. But this is Seifer - ambitious, determined, single-minded Seifer - and for him it probably is.

Funny, those attributes aren't what the rest of the world remembers. The world he saved only remembers Seifer's mistakes and Squall's triumphs, and continues to define them by it. All the things the blonde did right, all the things Squall did wrong - and Hyne knows there's plenty - don't count.

"Do what?" he asks, finally, though it's not really a question since no-one has an answer. "Not like I ever had a romantic dream."

The remark was meant to be...something. Wry, or ironic, or clever. But from the look that flickers across jade eyes, perhaps more unconscious malice slipped into the words than Squall realised he intended.

"Yeah, well..." Seifer's not even looking at him now, but looking through him, at something intangible hovering in middle distance. He doesn't want to know what the blonde's seeing in his mind's eye; it leaves a bitter taste, like an old soured wine. "You were always the smarter one, not putting faith in bullshit like that."

"It isn't..." The words begin with the best intentions, but he doesn't even think he has faith in the rest of the counter argument. At least Seifer, for his part, doesn't seem disappointed by Squall's inability to offer even insincere comfort. He looks a little surprised at the attempt, but not disappointed.

"I used to think so."

The expression that fills the silence more resolutely than a thousand words would be sadness if it was worn on any other face. But Seifer Almasy doesn't do sadness. Anger, frustration, arrogance and fire, but never sadness. He can't. If he does then Squall's last vestige of belief that the world can't quite shatter everything, is gone.

"So..." The blonde shakes off the moment with a nonchalant shrug, smiles wryly. "The rest of those losers still at Garden too?"

"Most of them."

"You and Rinoa still the Balamb Garden golden couple?"

He almost smiles again at that. It seems news doesn't travel as fast as he assumed it would, at least not outside the confines of Garden.

"No..." He shakes his head. "She's been back in Deling City for a while. Patching things up with her father, I guess."

"She's back here?" the blonde muses. "Gonna have to catch up with her next time I'm in town. Usually I'm based in Timber, but I make the run to Deling every couple of weeks." Seifer watches him expectantly for a moment, perhaps waiting for questions, for interest that never materialises.

Ultimately it doesn't matter; any response he's meant to make is joyfully interrupted by the approach of one of the train guards. He glances at Seifer as though he something about the tall blonde is familiar, but he can't pinpoint it. Something resonates from Seifer's remarks about the past, and Squall finds himself scowling a little, speaking without thought.


"See your social skills have improved..." Seifer smirks slightly, muttering under his breath. Squall treats him with the same withering look, before turning back to the guard.

"Um..." The beleaguered man looks between them for a moment, before continuing. "We have one train leaving for Balamb via Timber, Commander. It will be the only one we can guarantee this evening. The SeeD car has been prepared for you, Sir."

Thank Hyne. Thank sweet, holy, tap dancing Hyne...

He just nods slightly at the guard in acknowledgement. As the man scurries off, Seifer snorts a low derisive sound beside him.

"What?" He raises a brow when Squall glances at him. "I was just waiting for him to offer to lick your boots, or wipe your ass too..." The smirk is accompanied by a softly mocking tone. "...Sir."

"Shut up..."

"Oh, course, not like you asked for any of this, right Squally?" The smirk widens. "I can see that, you probably expected they'd chew you out and just reward you with some high grade gunblade polish for that whole saving the world thing."

Squall just scowls, but in the moment before he does, there's a yearning in his eyes that neither of them can ignore. He wonders briefly whether Seifer knows quite how accurate the barb is. He'd have been happier with gunblade polish than with what he's ended up with. Happier still not being a part of any of it. Of course, happy is a relative term as far as he's concerned.

Instead of gracing the statement with a response, he frowns a little, repeating the guards words in his head. Picking up his bags, he begins to walk towards the platform, glancing over his shoulder at the blonde.

"Well? Do you want to spend the night in Deling Station?"

He doesn't check to see if he's being followed. If nothing else, Seifer's always been able to make his own decisions. Squall used to wonder, once, whether deep down the blonde's thought processes ran along the same jagged, precarious path as his own. It might very well, but somehow he can't see it. Can't see the other man being anything besides confident certainty, cutting a path more surely than any flame, burning first, asking questions later.

Squall has always been frozen in thought. Seifer has always blazed with action.

And where strength and weakness should have balanced out, instead distance and difference was allowed to flourish in the cracks and gulfs and chasms in between.

The blonde stand silently behind him while he unlocks the door to the SeeD car. It's nice not to have anyone bouncing at the door demanding they be the first through it. But there's something about the Seifer's quiet presence that unsettles and reassures him, all at once.

There's strength at his back. It's just a shame it's strength on which he can't depend.

"So this is the famous SeeD car..." Seifer follows him through doors that swish efficiently open and closed as they enter. The other man looks around, evidently seeing more to appreciate in the overdone and tasteless car than Squall ever has. Taking off his coat, he drapes it carelessly over an armrest. "Reserved for important missions, elite staff, and professional ass-kissers..."

Squall takes off his uniform jacket, drops his bags on the plush seats running along the periphery of the car, steel scowl fixed on the pristine leather.

"I didn't invite you for a review."

Seifer takes a seat, arms stretching along the back of the chairs, one long leg crossed over the other, ankle resting on one knee. Squall glances at him in time to catch the lazy smirk, and the flare of annoyance makes him look away again. Seifer looks more at home in five seconds than Squall has for five years.

"I'm not allowed an opinion, Commander?" The blonde raises a brow, smirks slightly again. The expression fades after a moment of silence, replaced by a curiosity and an intensity Squall can feel without looking. "Why did you invite me?"

He hadn't really expected to make it the entire journey without hearing that question. And here in the quiet confines of the train car, there's nothing that can distract from it besides a half-hearted lie.

"Timber was on the way."

"Yeah. On your way. Not something you usually go out of, not for me."

He's never thought Seifer was one to hold a grudge. Why, he can't quite pinpoint, except that there's something rather pointless and futile in the act, and he never imagined the blonde as one to chase after useless things. The look he sends the other man says as much.

Seifer looks at him, and after a moment's silence, the animosity and defiance melts away, replaced by a self-satisfied grin.

"Must be nice to be able to hold a conversation with someone who gets Squallspeak, huh?"


But even as the scowl formed, he knows the blonde is right. Most of the time he was dealing with people to whom his introspection was at best perplexing, at worst an insult. But here was a man who had always been able to decipher and decode his own silent language as precisely as if he'd spoken a million words.

And he's missed that. Missed the company of someone with whom the silences are actually comfortable. The others think him deliberately awkward, deliberately stubborn, clinging to his silence in immature defiance, just not making the effort to ingratiate himself. The truth is he's never learnt how, and with the one who had once mattered above all others, it hadn't even been necessary.

If Seifer had ever had a hold over him, that had been it.

And maybe that's why he's invited Seifer along tonight. Maybe he needs to remember what that was like.

On cue, Seifer shakes his head at Squall's soundless reverie, smirk almost becoming a sincere smile, if he could remember what sincere looked like on that handsome face. He can't claim with any certainty that he's ever seen it, on either of them.

"Yeah, thought so..."

"Shut up."

Arms stretched along the back of the seats, Seifer looks the picture of belonging. Tilting his head slightly, smirk reaching jade eyes, he beckons imperceptibly with his hands, in a `come on then` gesture.

"Make me."

It's funny that even after all this time, Seifer still knows the buttons to press to get a reaction. Or maybe it is a product of all that time; something ingrained, something known that time can't change, or magic can't erase. A part of him wishes desperately he could wipe that smug, sure look from the other man's face, but he can't, and wishing won't make it any different. Besides, he'd only be acting to try and prove the blonde wrong again. He should have learnt by now that was a pointless exercise.

And there's something else he's imagining he sees in those green eyes, something old and fleetingly tender that needs just as badly as he does, and that's reason enough not to pretend.

One thing he can say for Seifer, is that there's never the need for any coy preamble. Just a silent understanding as he crosses the train car, hands bracing against the back of the seats as he leans down, lips hovering a breath away from the blonde's for an infinite second. It's Seifer who finally closes the slight distance, and that suits Squall fine; he can look back on this later when he dissects it in his head and convince himself it's all Seifer's responsibility.

Right now there's no need for thought. The lips pressed against his are familiar in a way that's almost bittersweet, and he's being led in a dance whose steps he's spent too long trying to forget, only to realise he never can.

His hands slide from the seat back to rest against Seifer's shoulders, feeling the strong muscles flex beneath his fingers. At the touch, maybe waiting for some assurance that Squall is serious, Seifer's arms wind around his waist, a low possessive growl rumbling in his chest as the blonde pulls him closer, tugging Squall astride his lap.

One hand stays banded around his waist, the other rising to the nape of his neck, fingers winding into his hair. Drawing him closer, the blonde deepens the kiss, lips and tongue moving more demandingly and aggressive against Squall's.

Squall yields without complaint, just breathes a near-whimper into the kiss as his lips sink down against Seifer's, parted legs fitting snugly over the blonde's lap.

Fitting like he belongs, like he's never left, like he's never been away from this.

Then he's begun rocking against Seifer - or Seifer's begun rocking against him, he can't tell and doesn't much care - and he can feel the heat and hardness nudging at him, vying for his attention. His own body, too long deprived and too long disinterested, responds in kind, rubbing with mindless hunger.

Seifer chuckles throatily, softening the kiss a little as his hands come to rest on Squall's narrow hips, slowing the erratic pace. The brunette whimpers in frustration, but it's soon drowned out by another deep intoxicating kiss. Both his hands wind in golden hair, tugging hard. Seifer's kisses trail down over his jaw, down the column of his throat, lapping at the vulnerable skin as Squall swallows convulsively, head falling back.

And even now it's hard to admit even to himself that he needs this, needs the heat of this man's fire to melt the ice.

Satisfied Squall's regained a glimmer of self-control, Seifer's hands slide from his hips, tickling over his waist, fingers tugging the uniform shirt free from the waist of the pants. He can feel his stomach muscles shivering beneath the blonde's touch as the other man's hands slide under the carelessly untucked shirt. Gunblade-callused fingers run over the planes of muscle and skin, tracing old familiar patterns. Because Seifer knows him. Seifer knows where the extra sensitive spots are, knows where old training scars still linger, knows the places to touch that make Squall shudder and gasp. His own fingers loosen their merciless hold in that blonde hair, only to latch hard onto Seifer's shoulders again, clenching in his shirt.

Their lips meet again in a hard hungry kiss, moments before the blonde's questing fingers find his tightened nipples, tweaking sharply. Squall's cry is swallowed by the kiss, met by another rumbly groan. The sound is so infused with want that it sends sensation running on a constant loop from Seifer's lips, to his fingers, to the heat pressing against the stretched-taut uniform pants.

He's rather unceremoniously yanked up to kneel astride the other man's lap, bringing his chest level with Seifer's lips, and offering no obstacle as the blonde reaches for the belt of the pants.

Lower lip caught between his teeth, he gazes down at the blonde. Seifer meets the glance with a stare that reminds Squall of facing down a feral, hungry animal - determined, intense, and mesmerising in its danger.

And he can't help it, can't help reaching out, one hand whispering along the side of the blonde's face. Seifer turns his head slightly, kisses Squall's fingertips, before letting one hand push up the rumpled shirt, the other impatiently unfastening the tailored uniform pants. They're only half undone when the fabric's tugged down over his hips.

He arches up against Seifer then, yearning for some kind of friction. Seifer's lips find a patch of skin beneath the hiked up edge of Squall's shirt, nipping and suckling at the skin. Glancing up at him again, Seifer's hands slide over his sides, nails raking bluntly and leaving trails of almost-pain in their wake, chasing the pants further down over his thighs. Squall's fingers entwine at the back of that golden head again, keeping the tortuously teasing kisses close.

Sliding a little lower, palms cupping Squall's ass, Seifer's kisses trail down over his abdomen and stomach, the tails of his shirt clinging to damn skin, and it takes a hard-won moment of lucidity to realise what the blonde's doing.

His head snaps back as those hands tighten beneath him, lifting him slightly, and warm soft lips brush a kiss to the tip of his arousal. He's relieved that Seifer's hands are holding him up; that one intimate knowing touch has turned his bones to liquid and his mind to a haze.

But he knows Seifer's barely gotten started, and that awareness just heightens the need.

For once, though, Seifer's quite merciful with him. Squall doesn't have the chance to wonder whether the blonde has mellowed with age - not matured, just mellowed...- before those lips envelope his cock, tongue rubbing along the tip at first, then swirling wetly, suckling, licks running along the flared lip of the head.

He can feel that tongue seeking out every ridge, every vein, can almost feel Seifer's mind working, recalling where to touch, the right kind of pressure to apply. And like any skill, any exercise that's been practised so devotedly that it's been imprinted on his memory, Squall's moving to each step of the dance exactly the way he knows Seifer wants him to.

And he tries to tell himself it's just a mutual exchange of pleasure, just scratching each other's itch, but even that cold analysis doesn't douse the heat.

Seifer alters the pressure again, and Squall bucks against him. The eagerness is `punished` by the faint scrape of teeth along the underside of his shaft, while the fingers kneading him find their way along the valley of his ass. The touch strokes once or twice, before just one fingertip circles the puckered opening, nudging but not quite pressing in.

He's moaned half the blonde's name - "Seif..." - before he can catch himself. Seifer's gaze flickers up to meet his again, lips curving into a smile around his arousal as the fingertip finally slides into him. Before Squall can take the time to adjust to the welcome intrusion, another finger joins the first, thrusting slow and deep.

There are mindless, desperate demands on his lips now at the dual assault of sensation. It's nearly too much, to go from so much of nothing to this, he's slightly amazed he's endured the overload this long.

Only because it's a challenge, like everything else Seifer stirs up in him. Always a challenge, always pushing him beyond his self-defined boundaries.

He's missed that too.

He almost curses the blonde when Seifer's lips draw back, tongue lapping at the tip of his erection one last time, like a cat savouring the finest cream. The green eyes are electric bright as they stare up at him, lips nuzzling at Squall's skin again as they slide back up his chest.

Between them, amid silent and not-so-silent cursing, the uniform pants end up in a crumpled pile at Seifer's feet. Hands sliding and scratching over the blonde's shoulders, Squall bites his lips hard as desire-flushed skin slides against Seifer's arousal, wanting, but still reticent to give voice to that need.

He moans though, when the fingers stretching him withdraw, hips trying to move back to follow. When his gaze meets Squall's again, the blonde smirks breathlessly, and Squall can't find it within himself to mind. They both know why; they both know what's coming. It might have been a while, but it's not something that easily forgotten.

Still, it's a delicious shock of pleasure when the heated tip of the blonde's erection nudges against him, slick and feverish, testing resistance before sliding past the tight muscle with one slow driving movement.

He's crying out now, but doesn't really mind. And his hips keep moving as Seifer thrusts deeper, the friction assuaging the ache and the distant little flare of pain from the far-too-unfamiliar penetration. He clings tightly to the blonde, riding out any weak discomfort, letting the pleasure wash over him.

There's a moment of stillness then, when Seifer's buried to the hilt and Squall's own arousal is pressed up against the blonde's flat stomach, and their arms are wrapped around each other and all they can hear is each other's breathing.

Then Seifer begins to move, his hands settling on Squall's hips, guiding him, controlling him, and Squall lets him because in this he wants to be. Wants to be Seifer's, wants to be whatever the blonde needs him to be, because this is something he will give willingly, this isn't something he does grudgingly, or out of duty or obligation. This is want, nothing more simple or complex than that.

Each thrust has him seeing stars, no matter how measured and slow Seifer's movements are. His own hips press down in a counter-thrust to every motion of the blonde's hips, and he shifts restlessly on Seifer's lap, seeking out the perfect angle, crying out loudly when he finds it.

One hand still digging into his hip - hard enough to leave bruises, or at least some memento of this... - Seifer wraps his other hand around Squall's arousal, stroking firmly, adding to the overwhelming sensation and driving it higher than he could ever remember tolerating before.

But it's still a fight. Everything they've ever done has been a battle, one way or another, and this is just another round.

And looking into Seifer's eyes, vivid blue meeting laser green, Squall realises he's tired of fighting.

His arms wind tightly around Seifer, lips and teeth latching onto the juncture of neck and shoulder, hips moving fast and shamelessly against the other man. Turning his head, he brushes gasped, open-mouthed kisses along the blonde's jaw and cheek, ending up at his lips in a deep yearning kiss.

One more thrust, one more stroke of Seifer's arousal against that spot deep inside him that makes his nerves dance. One more stroke of the blonde's fingers, one sweep of his thumb across the sensitive head. And then he's flying and falling all at once, the pleasure of climax simultaneously chilled and scalding.

Fire and ice. It'd be sort of apt if he could even think.

He tightens reflexively around the hardness buried inside him, and Seifer tenses beneath him, jade eyes wide and as honest as Squall's ever seen them. Then there's fire banishing ice again, melting the coldness threatening to take root within him as reality began to seep back into his consciousness. And he's just pleasantly numb, pleasantly floating, head pillowed on Seifer's shoulder and breathing hard enough to make him dizzy.

He barely realises they're moving, till he feels the tugging and coaxing, and allows himself to be shepherded across the car to the confines of the bottom bunk. It's meant to be a single - like all Garden-issue beds or cots, in an eternal losing battle against the raging hormones of teenage cadets - but somehow the manage to fit, legs entwined loosely, his head against Seifer's chest. And wrapped up in the blonde's arms, he's still in a sated daze of afterglow.

Such a hero. Such a good soldier, when one good fuck renders him mindless....of course, it was Seifer, that had to be extenuating circumstances...

He doesn't remember dozing off, Seifer's arms around him, and the blonde's heartbeat thudding a quiet rhythm against his cheek. When he wakes up, it's with the groggy disorientation of one who'd spent the previous evening drinking beer by the gallon.

Seifer's across the car, shrugging back into his coat, straightening his clothes, smoothing ruffled blonde hair. He looks almost apologetic when Squall sends him a questioning - and Hyne forbid, hurt - glance.

"They just called Timber, and..." Seifer looks away, shrugs again, finding something fascinating to watch in the darkness beyond the train window. "And I have to go."

Squall sits up, watching impassively as he reaches for his discarded pants. "Were you going to tell me?"

"No..." The blonde's smile is wry. "Not unless you woke up and I had to. Thought it'd be better that way..."

"If that's how you feel."

Seifer looks at him intently, and it occurs to Squall that much as the other man can read him, he can't say the same thing when it comes to the blonde.

He gets up a little gingerly, and unsurprisingly Seifer doesn't fail to notice. The concern, however, does come as a surprise, even though Squall's not sure why.

"You okay?"

"Fine." Evidently the terse reply isn't sufficient answer, so it's Squall's turn to stare out of the window under the scrutiny of the jade gaze, and mumble; "Been a while..."

He thinks he hears a chuckle, but it's drowned out when the train announcement chooses that moment to inform them of their imminent arrival at Timber Station. The train begins to slow in a series of lurches, and for that moment the only sound is the brakes and the squeal of the rails, and the swish of displaced air as the car door slides open. He follows Seifer out into the narrow corridor, and through again to the exit doors.

And somewhere along the journey he's realised that he can't just stand there and watch Seifer leave all over again, can't let another five years go by before he gets another chance to make things right.

Can't, but that doesn't stop him doing exactly that, as the train door opens, cool night air rushing in. Just stands there, watching Seifer leave, because he doesn't know how to ask him not to.

The blonde pauses at the open doorway, before stepping out onto the platform, turning to look at him. "You know where I am, if..." The words trailing off, Seifer shrugs slightly, gesturing around him, one vague movement of his hand encompassing the entirety of Timber.


It's hardly eloquent, it's hardly even effective as far as building bridges goes. But maybe there's something in his tone that he can't hear but the blonde can feel, and that's enough.

"Don't leave it so long next time." Green eyes meet his as the tannoy blares some other announcement Squall isn't listening to. He catches the hint of a genuine smile as Seifer backs away, just before the doors begin to close. "Keep me waiting another five years Squally, and I might be forced to come looking for you."

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